Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Blog #56 - 'Celebration of Needlework' Retreat : 2017

Thursday,  18 May 2017

At Nashua - continuing on from my last blog - after a few hours nap,
a yummy dinner (pictured below)
and a good nights sleep, woke on the Tuesday (2nd of May)
to begin a days work of unpacking all my stock items
and pricing each item and returning all to the suitcases.
By late that afternoon most of my fellow designers,
tutors and exhibitors had arrived at the hotel.
Lots of hugs and kisses and chatter!
After all, we hadn't seen each other for a year and so had a lot to catch up on!
Many of the retreat attendees
- some of whom who have been attending every year for the last 20 years -
were also at the hotel. 
For many of them this retreat has become their annual weekly holiday.
There were groups of ladies sitting everywhere
happily stitching their needlework projects
and enjoying each others company.
Pictured below is a group of ladies on one part of the hotel lobby.
Wednesday was the day to set up my exhibition booth.
This year I had a corner site -
towards the back of the ballroom/convention room.
I enjoyed having a corner site.
Across the aisle from me was 'Silk Weavers'
and beside me was lovely friend,
Karen Kluba of 'Rosewood Manor'.
(Note:  Above two photos were taken a few days after the Merchants Mall had opened.)
That evening was the first of the events - the 'Vendor Round Robin'.
Six designers/exhibitors each presented a little design & kit
to the attendees
(of which there were about 75 ladies)
and explained the project they were presenting,
plus the finishing of it while giving an insight
as to how they began in business and/or what inspires them.
This was an 'optional' event.
Following the above event was the 'Meet N Greet' event which was free to all attendees,
therefore attendees would have been almost 300!
Format was tea and dessert and a welcome to everyone.
This was also the time for all attendees to have the opportunity
to meet all the tutors and see the class projects they were to be teaching
or hear about the lectures to be given.
The tutors/lecturers (15 of us) sat at a table in a row at the head of the room
with our projects in front of us and we had to give a synopsis of our class, etc.
Quite a daunting task for me as I do not like being the focus of attention!
I'm sure everyone heard the tremor in my voice
and saw my hands shaking!!
Just as well they couldn't see my knees.
At the conclusion, attendees could register for additional cases
if there were any vacancies.
I had four more ladies 'sign-up' for my class
but others missed out as I had not prepared for any more than 12 students.
Really quite encouraging as I wasn't sure how my class would be accepted
as the Fisherton de la Mere technique is "NEW"
to most American needleworkers.
Thursday morning was the time scheduled for my class.
I have to confess to being a little apprehensive as not taught in the States before,
but all students were lovely and we had a good time together.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the whole class.
Thought of it after most had left, however, pictured below are some of the girls.
These girls have become lovely friends and were responsible for me
being a tutor this year
due to their gentle persuasion at the 2016 retreat.
The pic below is of a mother and daughter who also attended the class.
Lovely ladies too.
At the end of the class everyone was asked to evaluate the tutor and make comments.
I was quite humbled by some of the comments.
Many of them wrote on these sheets - "Please Come Back".

That evening, before the scheduled events, the girls who had been in my class
and their friends that had been in other classes
asked me to join them for dinner.
We had an enjoyable time together.
More news about 'Celebration of Needlework' in my next blog.